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SQ22
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Caribbean Aviation Thread - 2021

Thu Dec 31, 2020 2:35 pm

Welcome to the Carribbean Aviation Thread 2021. Please continue to post your news and your discussion here.

Link to previous thread:

Caribbean Aviation Thread - 2020
 
caribbean484
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Joined: Sat Jan 06, 2007 1:57 am

Re: Caribbean Aviation Thread - 2021

Thu Dec 31, 2020 3:39 pm

Happy New year to everyone and hopefully 2021 will be much better for Caribbean aviation.

Per Crankyflier, B6 has dropped JFK-GEO for January/February. I find their service on the route to be extremely strange. Why start a new destination, serve it for two weeks and then drop it for two months after that?

https://crankyflier.com/2020/12/28/jetb ... etaliates/

I also just checked B6’s website and I do not see GEO listed as a destination in the drop down menu anymore. If this is permanently gone, it represents one of the strangest start and stops of a route I have ever seen.


According to the OAG thread, it's dropped for Jan/Feb and suppose to restart in March for Easter when they expect demand to return. It is the strangest start but we are living in nonnormal times.

But to be fair Jan/Feb cuts are brutal with the airlines trying to be aggressive at first but the reality is demand is still not there.
All ah we is one family
 
caribny
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Joined: Sat Mar 16, 2019 1:47 am

Re: Caribbean Aviation Thread - 2021

Thu Dec 31, 2020 8:01 pm

caribbean484 wrote:
Happy New year to everyone and hopefully 2021 will be much better for Caribbean aviation.

Per Crankyflier, B6 has dropped JFK-GEO for January/February. I find their service on the route to be extremely strange. Why start a new destination, serve it for two weeks and then drop it for two months after that?

https://crankyflier.com/2020/12/28/jetb ... etaliates/

I also just checked B6’s website and I do not see GEO listed as a destination in the drop down menu anymore. If this is permanently gone, it represents one of the strangest start and stops of a route I have ever seen.


According to the OAG thread, it's dropped for Jan/Feb and suppose to restart in March for Easter when they expect demand to return. It is the strangest start but we are living in nonnormal times.

But to be fair Jan/Feb cuts are brutal with the airlines trying to be aggressive at first but the reality is demand is still not there.



To show how brutal AA is offering fares of under $400 r/t on the JFK GEO in this period, with less for the basic fare. BW is under $650. AA is playing hardball. Late Jan to Easter is a very soft period on this route.
 
2travel2know2
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Re: Caribbean Aviation Thread - 2021

Thu Dec 31, 2020 8:19 pm

CM issued a press release today informing that the Cuban regime had reduced its current 20 weekly frequencies to thrice weekly service (flying Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays) due to Covid-19 travel restrictions.
I'm not on CM's payroll.
 
windian425
Posts: 258
Joined: Sat Dec 30, 2006 9:22 am

Re: Caribbean Aviation Thread - 2021

Thu Dec 31, 2020 8:30 pm

Here is wishing for a much improved year for Caribbean Aviation in 2021.
When will POS finally open? BW's survival is dependent on this happening sooner rather than later. How long will the BW BGI base last in 2021?
Will JY establish its self in the Eastern Caribbean with the BGI base? When will the E145's connect the EC with the Western Caribbean? Aircraft is perfect to compete with BW to KIN. BGI-SDQ-KIN or better yet BGI-ANU/SXM-KIN. Also why not connect BGI-EIS via DOM. LI operated this nonstop with ATR's. JY should also consider the BGI-OGL route.
 
Caymanair
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Re: Caribbean Aviation Thread - 2021

Fri Jan 01, 2021 12:15 am

2020 has been hard indeed for Caribbean airlines.

Bahamasair is not looking good, a loss in excess of $50 million USD is no small thing in a depressed economy such as the Bahamas:

https://thenassauguardian.com/bahamasair-set-to-lose-50-million/

KX of course suffers as Cayman's boarders remain effectively closed, and the MAX aircraft are still grounded. Although no information is yet in the public domain, I expect their losses will be well in excess of Bahamasair's. Fingers crossed that KX spreads its wings to BDA, PLS, and LHR from GCM and KIN in 2021! Wishful thinking...

It's probably best that POS remains closed for now and hopefully in the new year we can devise a way to reopen safely. I look forward to seeing howing the LIAT/ InterCaribbean/ Caribbean airlines regional conundrum works itself out in the Eastern Caribbean.

The only silver lining here is that, hopefully, Caribbean people and their governments finally realise how rapacious and poverty-inducing tourism dependent economies are. The antics of the Sandals Group in TCI has to demonstrate that these companies are not there out of friendship or even real partnership... even when the company is home grown. And the tourists who actually arrive for a bucket-and-spade holiday have little to no interest in or respect for our countries, our cultures, or our people. Worse when they arrive on a $99 Carnival cruise.
 
baje427
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Re: Caribbean Aviation Thread - 2021

Fri Jan 01, 2021 5:16 am

Barbados seems on the brink of a Covid outbreak curfew has been reinstated school reopening delayed etc. I suspect some travel restrictions are near which will put BW under additional pressure.
 
caribny
Posts: 578
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Re: Caribbean Aviation Thread - 2021

Fri Jan 01, 2021 10:48 pm

With tightening borders (except for SLU and ANU) there seems little incentive for intra Eastern Caribbean travel at this time. Most of it is for less than one week. Because of this there is now less airlift than there was 50 years ago when comparably few Caribbean people traveled (those old enough will remember that trips to the airport were almost sacred with travelers dressed in their finest). And yet the planes are empty.

Inter Caribbean was down to replacing one of its 30 seaters with a Twin Otter, this on routes with just ONE flight daily. Not sure how its EIS base is doing. Really wonder how long will Inter Caribbean keep its BGI base going. It doesnt have the state support that BW has so are less able to sustain losses. Rumors had it that the reason why LI had difficulties re-entering BGI was that JY was threatening to leave. Well they are back but with routes focused out of BGI to ANU, SKB and EIS. LI reported loads of around 30 on the BGI SKB route when BGI had forced a temporary suspension.

Do not see E/C to KIN travel really retuning until POS reopens. T&T is NOT going to let JY in, and given that BW isnt interested in PLS the latter have no leverage. PLS isnt part of CARICOM.
 
Brickell305
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Joined: Sat Jun 24, 2017 2:07 pm

Re: Caribbean Aviation Thread - 2021

Sat Jan 02, 2021 12:17 am

Caymanair wrote:
2020 has been hard indeed for Caribbean airlines.

Bahamasair is not looking good, a loss in excess of $50 million USD is no small thing in a depressed economy such as the Bahamas:

https://thenassauguardian.com/bahamasair-set-to-lose-50-million/

KX of course suffers as Cayman's boarders remain effectively closed, and the MAX aircraft are still grounded. Although no information is yet in the public domain, I expect their losses will be well in excess of Bahamasair's. Fingers crossed that KX spreads its wings to BDA, PLS, and LHR from GCM and KIN in 2021! Wishful thinking...

It's probably best that POS remains closed for now and hopefully in the new year we can devise a way to reopen safely. I look forward to seeing howing the LIAT/ InterCaribbean/ Caribbean airlines regional conundrum works itself out in the Eastern Caribbean.

The only silver lining here is that, hopefully, Caribbean people and their governments finally realise how rapacious and poverty-inducing tourism dependent economies are. The antics of the Sandals Group in TCI has to demonstrate that these companies are not there out of friendship or even real partnership... even when the company is home grown. And the tourists who actually arrive for a bucket-and-spade holiday have little to no interest in or respect for our countries, our cultures, or our people. Worse when they arrive on a $99 Carnival cruise.

Bahamasair also had to deal with reduced demand due to the aftermath of Hurricane Dorian so that’s not entirely COVID related (although that was obviously the biggest factor).

I suspect that POS may remain closed or at the very least highly restricted to entry until Ash Wednesday to prevent people who had otherwise bought tickets before the cancellation of carnival was announced from entering regardless. I think there is legitimate fear that a reopening prior to that may lead to an underground entertainment scene running rampant.

KX is going to be in for a world of hurt. I’m actually surprised the Caymans held out for this long.

With BGI’s restrictions, I’m sure JY is regretting its decision to expand there. BW, at the very least had no other choice other than to remain idle in the E. Caribbean. LI will need the governments of the OECS to come together to keep it afloat. The govt of ANU cannot bear that burden alone. It does not have the wherewithal to keep pumping unlimited funds into LI. Even down to two planes, a limited schedule and reduced staff, LI is still very costly and there’s obviously no way the operation is making any money now.
 
baje427
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Re: Caribbean Aviation Thread - 2021

Sat Jan 02, 2021 2:51 am

Yip BGI now has a 9pm to 5am curfew after a super spreader event occurred. I doubt JY will be around in BGI after February.
 
caribny
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Re: Caribbean Aviation Thread - 2021

Sat Jan 02, 2021 4:28 am

baje427 wrote:
Yip BGI now has a 9pm to 5am curfew after a super spreader event occurred. I doubt JY will be around in BGI after February.



So after all of the hullaballoo it will be back to LI by the summer, when hopefully demand will have returned. For many BGI isnt O&D but its a transit point, and that is the challenge that JY will face. BW will likely reconfigure its operations in post Covid which might see more use of the ATR to more Eastern Caribbean islands, but clearly not as a LI replacement, and maintaining its POS and GEO/OGL focus.

With SVD getting better service (VS from next year) suddenly BGI starts to become less important.
 
LimaFoxTango
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Re: Caribbean Aviation Thread - 2021

Sat Jan 02, 2021 1:08 pm

caribny wrote:
baje427 wrote:
Yip BGI now has a 9pm to 5am curfew after a super spreader event occurred. I doubt JY will be around in BGI after February.



So after all of the hullaballoo it will be back to LI by the summer, when hopefully demand will have returned. For many BGI isnt O&D but its a transit point, and that is the challenge that JY will face. BW will likely reconfigure its operations in post Covid which might see more use of the ATR to more Eastern Caribbean islands, but clearly not as a LI replacement, and maintaining its POS and GEO/OGL focus.

With SVD getting better service (VS from next year) suddenly BGI starts to become less important.


BGI was never important.
You are said to be a good pilot when your take-off's equal your landings.
 
Brickell305
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Joined: Sat Jun 24, 2017 2:07 pm

Re: Caribbean Aviation Thread - 2021

Sat Jan 02, 2021 1:30 pm

LimaFoxTango wrote:
caribny wrote:
baje427 wrote:
Yip BGI now has a 9pm to 5am curfew after a super spreader event occurred. I doubt JY will be around in BGI after February.



So after all of the hullaballoo it will be back to LI by the summer, when hopefully demand will have returned. For many BGI isnt O&D but its a transit point, and that is the challenge that JY will face. BW will likely reconfigure its operations in post Covid which might see more use of the ATR to more Eastern Caribbean islands, but clearly not as a LI replacement, and maintaining its POS and GEO/OGL focus.

With SVD getting better service (VS from next year) suddenly BGI starts to become less important.


BGI was never important.

I don’t see LI going back into BGI in a major way regardless of what happens with JY.
 
windian425
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Re: Caribbean Aviation Thread - 2021

Sat Jan 02, 2021 3:42 pm

JY just needs to hang on until Summer 2021 even if it requires further cuts to the BGI operation. This second wave of COVID-19 will soon pass once Bajans wake up and take this more seriously. Vaccines are due in BGI before the end of March.
If BGI was never important to LI then what was? Certainly not ANU, other than for employment. The bulk of LI revenues were earned in the southern Caribbean for more than a decade and a large portion of that was from BGI.
 
gunnerman
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Re: Caribbean Aviation Thread - 2021

Sat Jan 02, 2021 3:44 pm

Preliminary statistics from the Jamaica Tourist Board (JTB) show that for the period December 22nd-28th, just over 21,000 passengers arrived on the island. The Sangster International Airport (MBJ) in Montego Bay welcomed 16,841 and 4,203 additional passengers arrived at the Norman Manley International Airport (KIN) in Kingston.

Between December 1st-28th, Jamaica welcomed over 98,000 visitors, an increase of more than 30,000 compared to the previous month. MBJ continues to account for the majority of arrivals. Between June 15th and December 28th, a total of 376,044 passengers arrived on the island.
 
gunnerman
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Re: Caribbean Aviation Thread - 2021

Sat Jan 02, 2021 3:47 pm

caribny wrote:
With SVD getting better service (VS from next year) suddenly BGI starts to become less important.

SVD will be a shared twice-weekly service, possibly via BGI, so it won't impact much on BGI which will continue to be the premium Eastern Caribbean destination.
 
Brickell305
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Joined: Sat Jun 24, 2017 2:07 pm

Re: Caribbean Aviation Thread - 2021

Sat Jan 02, 2021 4:10 pm

windian425 wrote:
JY just needs to hang on until Summer 2021 even if it requires further cuts to the BGI operation. This second wave of COVID-19 will soon pass once Bajans wake up and take this more seriously. Vaccines are due in BGI before the end of March.
If BGI was never important to LI then what was? Certainly not ANU, other than for employment. The bulk of LI revenues were earned in the southern Caribbean for more than a decade and a large portion of that was from BGI.

Not just JY but even after POS reopens, AFAIK, BW is still getting those ATRs and will fly them somewhere and it won’t be just from POS. BGI is likely to maintain service to the Windward Islands and Guyana. LI is down to two planes and doesn’t have the capacity to serve BGI as before unless some new benefactor comes in and by then it would likely be too late.
 
Caymanair
Posts: 525
Joined: Mon Apr 05, 2004 4:53 am

Re: Caribbean Aviation Thread - 2021

Sat Jan 02, 2021 4:12 pm

Brickell305 wrote:
Caymanair wrote:
2020 has been hard indeed for Caribbean airlines.

Bahamasair is not looking good, a loss in excess of $50 million USD is no small thing in a depressed economy such as the Bahamas:

https://thenassauguardian.com/bahamasair-set-to-lose-50-million/

KX of course suffers as Cayman's boarders remain effectively closed, and the MAX aircraft are still grounded. Although no information is yet in the public domain, I expect their losses will be well in excess of Bahamasair's. Fingers crossed that KX spreads its wings to BDA, PLS, and LHR from GCM and KIN in 2021! Wishful thinking...

It's probably best that POS remains closed for now and hopefully in the new year we can devise a way to reopen safely. I look forward to seeing howing the LIAT/ InterCaribbean/ Caribbean airlines regional conundrum works itself out in the Eastern Caribbean.

The only silver lining here is that, hopefully, Caribbean people and their governments finally realise how rapacious and poverty-inducing tourism dependent economies are. The antics of the Sandals Group in TCI has to demonstrate that these companies are not there out of friendship or even real partnership... even when the company is home grown. And the tourists who actually arrive for a bucket-and-spade holiday have little to no interest in or respect for our countries, our cultures, or our people. Worse when they arrive on a $99 Carnival cruise.

Bahamasair also had to deal with reduced demand due to the aftermath of Hurricane Dorian so that’s not entirely COVID related (although that was obviously the biggest factor).

I suspect that POS may remain closed or at the very least highly restricted to entry until Ash Wednesday to prevent people who had otherwise bought tickets before the cancellation of carnival was announced from entering regardless. I think there is legitimate fear that a reopening prior to that may lead to an underground entertainment scene running rampant.

KX is going to be in for a world of hurt. I’m actually surprised the Caymans held out for this long.

With BGI’s restrictions, I’m sure JY is regretting its decision to expand there. BW, at the very least had no other choice other than to remain idle in the E. Caribbean. LI will need the governments of the OECS to come together to keep it afloat. The govt of ANU cannot bear that burden alone. It does not have the wherewithal to keep pumping unlimited funds into LI. Even down to two planes, a limited schedule and reduced staff, LI is still very costly and there’s obviously no way the operation is making any money now.


I'd almost forgotten about Dorian! I wonder what the percentage of their traffic is international vs domestic?

Staying closed until after Ash Wednesday might indeed be the best choice.

Thankfully the vast majority of Cayman's economy isn't tourism, so we've actually experienced a mini-boom during lock down with all the money being spent locally and with so many big projects taking the opportunity to move full steam ahead. People were also allowed to access $400 million in restricted savings (about $500 mil USD) and government has still come out the end of this year with a budget surplus.

Tiny note: 'Caymans' isn't correct... its either Cayman or the Cayman Islands.

It remains to be seen how committed the OECS is to their common mandate.
 
windian425
Posts: 258
Joined: Sat Dec 30, 2006 9:22 am

Re: Caribbean Aviation Thread - 2021

Sat Jan 02, 2021 4:14 pm

The VS service to SVD is shared with ANU 2x weekly. BGI is sharing 1x weekly with TAB in Winter 2021/22.
 
caribny
Posts: 578
Joined: Sat Mar 16, 2019 1:47 am

Re: Caribbean Aviation Thread - 2021

Sat Jan 02, 2021 8:33 pm

windian425 wrote:
JY just needs to hang on until Summer 2021 even if it requires further cuts to the BGI operation. This second wave of COVID-19 will soon pass once Bajans wake up and take this more seriously. Vaccines are due in BGI before the end of March.
If BGI was never important to LI then what was? Certainly not ANU, other than for employment. The bulk of LI revenues were earned in the southern Caribbean for more than a decade and a large portion of that was from BGI.



JY has already cut back BGI now to just 2-3 flights daily.
 
caribny
Posts: 578
Joined: Sat Mar 16, 2019 1:47 am

Re: Caribbean Aviation Thread - 2021

Sun Jan 03, 2021 5:41 am

Brickell305 wrote:
windian425 wrote:
JY just needs to hang on until Summer 2021 even if it requires further cuts to the BGI operation. This second wave of COVID-19 will soon pass once Bajans wake up and take this more seriously. Vaccines are due in BGI before the end of March.
If BGI was never important to LI then what was? Certainly not ANU, other than for employment. The bulk of LI revenues were earned in the southern Caribbean for more than a decade and a large portion of that was from BGI.

Not just JY but even after POS reopens, AFAIK, BW is still getting those ATRs and will fly them somewhere and it won’t be just from POS. BGI is likely to maintain service to the Windward Islands and Guyana. LI is down to two planes and doesn’t have the capacity to serve BGI as before unless some new benefactor comes in and by then it would likely be too late.



I suspect that LI isnt going to be setting up a BGI base in the near future. Their goal will be to ensure connectivity between the north and south parts of the Eastern Caribbean. SVD, which was largely responsible for BGI being an important hub, will rely less on that island. O&D between BGI and SVD works out at around 50 pax daily. We will see which airlines will fight over those scraps, given that there will be fewer in transit passengers.
 
DaveMetroD
Posts: 40
Joined: Sat Jan 02, 2021 4:05 pm

Re: Caribbean Aviation Thread - 2021

Sun Jan 03, 2021 11:12 am

caribny wrote:

I suspect that LI isnt going to be setting up a BGI base in the near future. Their goal will be to ensure connectivity between the north and south parts of the Eastern Caribbean.


Their first goal needs to be not losing money.
Their second goal needs to make sure all of the employees-not just management-understand they're in the business of providing service to paying customers.
With what they've gone through recently I know it's hard for the employees to be positive, but positive they must be.

I visited Dominica about 10 years ago. LIAT was never a contender to fly me there because of their poor reputation for providing service.
On the way out, I got to see the LIAT customers that should have been long gone waiting for their plane to arrive. Had anyone informed them of a Estimated Time of Arrival? No.
I've seen nothing to indicate that their customer service has improved any since then.

I hope to get back to Dominica before they bulldoze the north end of the island for the international airport.
At which point Dominica ends up being like every other commercialized island down that way.
 
baje427
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Joined: Mon Aug 01, 2011 12:42 am

Re: Caribbean Aviation Thread - 2021

Sun Jan 03, 2021 2:50 pm

Any word on if the staff at LI are being paid? I remember it being said that on their inaugural the staff worked for free. Have they returned any of the ATR's ?
 
SkyVoice
Posts: 465
Joined: Tue Feb 14, 2017 9:34 pm

Re: Caribbean Aviation Thread - 2021

Mon Jan 04, 2021 3:39 am

And if all of the above weren't enough, there are reports of new volcanic unrest at Soufriere St. Vincent (St. Vincent & The Grenadines) and at Mont Pelee (Martinique). Both volcanoes produced deadly, explosive eruptions in 1902. Soufriere St. Vincent erupted violently in 1971 & 1979. Many people are keeping their eyes on these mountains now. If these volcanoes erupt individually or simultaneously, how might they affect Caribbean aviation?

https://volcano.si.edu/reports_weekly.cfm#vn_360150

https://www.volcanodiscovery.com/pelee/ ... ity-t.html
"Tough times never last. Tough people do." - Dr. Robert H. Schuller
 
caribbean484
Posts: 926
Joined: Sat Jan 06, 2007 1:57 am

Re: Caribbean Aviation Thread - 2021

Mon Jan 04, 2021 3:49 am

windian425 wrote:
Here is wishing for a much improved year for Caribbean Aviation in 2021.
When will POS finally open? BW's survival is dependent on this happening sooner rather than later. How long will the BW BGI base last in 2021?


Still not sure when POS will reopen, however it has to open up in the next few months. The BGI focus will remain as the airline is identifying opportunities in the coming months. With the instability of demand and opening and closing and restrictions of countries, it's very difficult.

Brickell305 wrote:
Not just JY but even after POS reopens, AFAIK, BW is still getting those ATRs and will fly them somewhere and it won’t be just from POS. BGI is likely to maintain service to the Windward Islands and Guyana. LI is down to two planes and doesn’t have the capacity to serve BGI as before unless some new benefactor comes in and by then it would likely be too late.

:checkmark: The last two ATRs will be coming when things stabilized and POS reopens. Regional travel is very profitable for CAL and their expansion will continue eventually.

gunnerman wrote:
Preliminary statistics from the Jamaica Tourist Board (JTB) show that for the period December 22nd-28th, just over 21,000 passengers arrived on the island. The Sangster International Airport (MBJ) in Montego Bay welcomed 16,841 and 4,203 additional passengers arrived at the Norman Manley International Airport (KIN) in Kingston.

Between December 1st-28th, Jamaica welcomed over 98,000 visitors, an increase of more than 30,000 compared to the previous month. MBJ continues to account for the majority of arrivals. Between June 15th and December 28th, a total of 376,044 passengers arrived on the island.


This is very interesting statistics

Cayman Island is saying that they are looking to reopen their borders in March with the vaccine
http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/latestne ... ?profile=0
All ah we is one family
 
caribny
Posts: 578
Joined: Sat Mar 16, 2019 1:47 am

Re: Caribbean Aviation Thread - 2021

Mon Jan 04, 2021 3:41 pm

DaveMetroD wrote:
caribny wrote:

I suspect that LI isnt going to be setting up a BGI base in the near future. Their goal will be to ensure connectivity between the north and south parts of the Eastern Caribbean.


Their first goal needs to be not losing money.
Their second goal needs to make sure all of the employees-not just management-understand they're in the business of providing service to paying customers.
With what they've gone through recently I know it's hard for the employees to be positive, but positive they must be.

I visited Dominica about 10 years ago. LIAT was never a contender to fly me there because of their poor reputation for providing service.
On the way out, I got to see the LIAT customers that should have been long gone waiting for their plane to arrive. Had anyone informed them of a Estimated Time of Arrival? No.
I've seen nothing to indicate that their customer service has improved any since then.

I hope to get back to Dominica before they bulldoze the north end of the island for the international airport.
At which point Dominica ends up being like every other commercialized island down that way.



None of the local carriers are any better than LIAT. Certainly not Seaborne or Inter Caribbean. In fact both airlines have even LOWER ratings based on their TripAdvisor reviews. LIATs service pre Covid was a good deal better than it was 10 years ago when they had ageing planes.

One of the best ways of not losing money is identifying a niche which allows one to compete on most favorable terms. LIATs niche is connectivity between the north and the south. Not battling with 2 other carriers for the 50 + passengers who fly daily between SVD and BGI.
 
caribny
Posts: 578
Joined: Sat Mar 16, 2019 1:47 am

Re: Caribbean Aviation Thread - 2021

Mon Jan 04, 2021 4:04 pm

caribbean484 wrote:

:checkmark: The last two ATRs will be coming when things stabilized and POS reopens. Regional travel is very profitable for CAL and their expansion will continue eventually.

0



We will see how these markets recover. I think that there will be far more customer push back on the high fares, and Caribbean gov'ts will definitely NOT be inclined to reduce the taxes/fees which creates this. Business travel will likely migrate even faster to teleconference platforms, reducing the need for face to face meetings. I also expect to see less intra regional VFR travel as many of the migrant workers in the high wage islands have been forced back home due to reduced employment and tighter work permit criteria.

So we cannot really say if yields available in the past will be in the future. Both T&T and BGI have structural economic challenges which will impact intra regional travel.
 
gunnerman
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Joined: Fri May 19, 2017 7:55 pm

Re: Caribbean Aviation Thread - 2021

Tue Jan 05, 2021 6:39 pm

I'm a bit surprised that nobody has mentioned the death of Butch Stewart today. He was part of the Air Jamaica Acquisition Group which acquired a 70% holding in the money-losing Air Jamaica in 1994 and promised to bring profitability to the airline. However Butch discovered that running an airline is very different to running a hotel chain, with problems such as when the US FAA downgraded Jamaica in 1995 from category 2 to category 1. A marketing deal with Delta was done in 1998, MBJ was developed into a hub and flights were operated to a wide number of north American, Caribbean and European destinations but the losses continued to such an extent that in 2004 saw Stewart and his team of investors signing over their ownership share back to the Government.

One thing that some planespotters would have liked was the replacement of the A310 with the A343 on the LHR route in 1999, one of the few 4-holers to be operated on Caribbean routes at the time.
 
caribny
Posts: 578
Joined: Sat Mar 16, 2019 1:47 am

Re: Caribbean Aviation Thread - 2021

Wed Jan 06, 2021 1:19 am

gunnerman wrote:
I'm a bit surprised that nobody has mentioned the death of Butch Stewart today. He was part of the Air Jamaica Acquisition Group which acquired a 70% holding in the money-losing Air Jamaica in 1994 and promised to bring profitability to the airline. However Butch discovered that running an airline is very different to running a hotel chain, with problems such as when the US FAA downgraded Jamaica in 1995 from category 2 to category 1. A marketing deal with Delta was done in 1998, MBJ was developed into a hub and flights were operated to a wide number of north American, Caribbean and European destinations but the losses continued to such an extent that in 2004 saw Stewart and his team of investors signing over their ownership share back to the Government.

One thing that some planespotters would have liked was the replacement of the A310 with the A343 on the LHR route in 1999, one of the few 4-holers to be operated on Caribbean routes at the time.



The A343 was also used on the JFK KIN.
 
Caymanair
Posts: 525
Joined: Mon Apr 05, 2004 4:53 am

Re: Caribbean Aviation Thread - 2021

Wed Jan 06, 2021 4:44 am

gunnerman wrote:
I'm a bit surprised that nobody has mentioned the death of Butch Stewart today. He was part of the Air Jamaica Acquisition Group which acquired a 70% holding in the money-losing Air Jamaica in 1994 and promised to bring profitability to the airline. However Butch discovered that running an airline is very different to running a hotel chain, with problems such as when the US FAA downgraded Jamaica in 1995 from category 2 to category 1. A marketing deal with Delta was done in 1998, MBJ was developed into a hub and flights were operated to a wide number of north American, Caribbean and European destinations but the losses continued to such an extent that in 2004 saw Stewart and his team of investors signing over their ownership share back to the Government.

One thing that some planespotters would have liked was the replacement of the A310 with the A343 on the LHR route in 1999, one of the few 4-holers to be operated on Caribbean routes at the time.


The Butch Stewart era was the golden age of Air Jamaica. He was the man who developed the company that Jamaicans loved and mourn to this day. I only wish they had been more successful financially.
 
gunnerman
Posts: 1191
Joined: Fri May 19, 2017 7:55 pm

Re: Caribbean Aviation Thread - 2021

Wed Jan 06, 2021 7:53 pm

caribny wrote:
gunnerman wrote:
I'm a bit surprised that nobody has mentioned the death of Butch Stewart today. He was part of the Air Jamaica Acquisition Group which acquired a 70% holding in the money-losing Air Jamaica in 1994 and promised to bring profitability to the airline. However Butch discovered that running an airline is very different to running a hotel chain, with problems such as when the US FAA downgraded Jamaica in 1995 from category 2 to category 1. A marketing deal with Delta was done in 1998, MBJ was developed into a hub and flights were operated to a wide number of north American, Caribbean and European destinations but the losses continued to such an extent that in 2004 saw Stewart and his team of investors signing over their ownership share back to the Government.

One thing that some planespotters would have liked was the replacement of the A310 with the A343 on the LHR route in 1999, one of the few 4-holers to be operated on Caribbean routes at the time.


The A343 was also used on the JFK KIN.

Yes, IIRC one 343 was started on the KIN-JFK route in 2002 whilst the other two were on the LHR route. I know of no other case where a 4-holer was subsequently used on scheduled flights between the Caribbean and north america.
 
caribbean484
Posts: 926
Joined: Sat Jan 06, 2007 1:57 am

Re: Caribbean Aviation Thread - 2021

Wed Jan 06, 2021 9:37 pm

gunnerman wrote:
I'm a bit surprised that nobody has mentioned the death of Butch Stewart today. He was part of the Air Jamaica Acquisition Group which acquired a 70% holding in the money-losing Air Jamaica in 1994 and promised to bring profitability to the airline. However Butch discovered that running an airline is very different to running a hotel chain, with problems such as when the US FAA downgraded Jamaica in 1995 from category 2 to category 1. A marketing deal with Delta was done in 1998, MBJ was developed into a hub and flights were operated to a wide number of north American, Caribbean and European destinations but the losses continued to such an extent that in 2004 saw Stewart and his team of investors signing over their ownership share back to the Government.

One thing that some planespotters would have liked was the replacement of the A310 with the A343 on the LHR route in 1999, one of the few 4-holers to be operated on Caribbean routes at the time.


I remembered the days of the West Indies playing in the Caribbean in the 90's and early 2000s and JM's TV ads would show up with the flying chief, campaign services and the multitude of US destinations from MBJ. He tried to run the company somewhat like a hotel or the Middle Eastern Airlines are now but the cost was too much and the airline never made money. But I can't deny the unique colors
IMO those were some interesting times in Caribbean aviation with BWIA, Air Jamaica, LIAT, Carib Express, Helen Air, Air Caribbean, Guyana Airways and even Caribbean Star.

gunnerman wrote:
Yes, IIRC one 343 was started on the KIN-JFK route in 2002 whilst the other two were on the LHR route. I know of no other case where a 4-holer was subsequently used on scheduled flights between the Caribbean and north america.


Actually BWIA flew the A340 between YYZ-POS in the high season, but they could not fly the a/c to NYC as planned because the ICAO/FAA cat2 ratings for POS. By the time POS returned to Cat1, BWIA was in the mist of restructuring/closing down and the A340s returned to their leasors.

I liked the name JM gave to the A340 "The Atlantic Limousine"
All ah we is one family
 
caribny
Posts: 578
Joined: Sat Mar 16, 2019 1:47 am

Re: Caribbean Aviation Thread - 2021

Wed Jan 06, 2021 9:58 pm

Caymanair wrote:

The Butch Stewart era was the golden age of Air Jamaica. He was the man who developed the company that Jamaicans loved and mourn to this day. I only wish they had been more successful financially.



To the contrary Butch Stewart ran a bunch of unprofitable routes just to provide access to his hotels. When he generated huge losses the Jamaican taxpayers had to fund this. The gov't guaranteed huge loans, poured money into the airline and allowed it to avoid paying travel taxes and landing fees. Eventually tiring of this the gov't took back the airline. JM never recovered from the financial mess and it had to be closed down eventually.

Butch mounted expensive promotional programs to give an illusion of success, but when the Jamaican taxpayers discovered that they had been had they turned on him.
 
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par13del
Posts: 10635
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Re: Caribbean Aviation Thread - 2021

Wed Jan 06, 2021 10:22 pm

caribny wrote:
Caymanair wrote:

The Butch Stewart era was the golden age of Air Jamaica. He was the man who developed the company that Jamaicans loved and mourn to this day. I only wish they had been more successful financially.



To the contrary Butch Stewart ran a bunch of unprofitable routes just to provide access to his hotels. When he generated huge losses the Jamaican taxpayers had to fund this. The gov't guaranteed huge loans, poured money into the airline and allowed it to avoid paying travel taxes and landing fees. Eventually tiring of this the gov't took back the airline. JM never recovered from the financial mess and it had to be closed down eventually.

Butch mounted expensive promotional programs to give an illusion of success, but when the Jamaican taxpayers discovered that they had been had they turned on him.

...or he was trying to use the airline the way EK is used in Dubai, to facilitate a tourism and business boom, except his was not focused on a single country, maybe if he had used JM only to service Jamaica and his hotels there he might have had more success. The idea of JM providing service to other countries in the Caribbean and asking them for subsidies as given to US airlines was doomed to failure, still not sure how he got subsides for his hotels, usually such is reserved for non-Caribbean foreigners.
 
gunnerman
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Re: Caribbean Aviation Thread - 2021

Thu Jan 07, 2021 12:15 am

caribbean484 wrote:
gunnerman wrote:
Yes, IIRC one 343 was started on the KIN-JFK route in 2002 whilst the other two were on the LHR route. I know of no other case where a 4-holer was subsequently used on scheduled flights between the Caribbean and north america.


Actually BWIA flew the A340 between YYZ-POS in the high season, but they could not fly the a/c to NYC as planned because the ICAO/FAA cat2 ratings for POS. By the time POS returned to Cat1, BWIA was in the mist of restructuring/closing down and the A340s returned to their leasors.

I liked the name JM gave to the A340 "The Atlantic Limousine"

I have a memory like a sieve as I own a video of a 343 flight from POS to LHR!

Another thing to mention was that BA used to add a flight from LHR to BGI on Saturdays during the winter seasons using the 744. (This was in addition to Concorde from LHR on the same day, so planespotters on Saturdays could see the arrivals of the Concorde in the morning followed by the 772 from LGW and the 744 in the afternoon.) Eventually BA ended the 744 in March 2004, so all additional flights were operated by 772s from LGW.
 
Caymanair
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Re: Caribbean Aviation Thread - 2021

Thu Jan 07, 2021 4:40 am

caribny wrote:
Caymanair wrote:

The Butch Stewart era was the golden age of Air Jamaica. He was the man who developed the company that Jamaicans loved and mourn to this day. I only wish they had been more successful financially.



To the contrary Butch Stewart ran a bunch of unprofitable routes just to provide access to his hotels. When he generated huge losses the Jamaican taxpayers had to fund this. The gov't guaranteed huge loans, poured money into the airline and allowed it to avoid paying travel taxes and landing fees. Eventually tiring of this the gov't took back the airline. JM never recovered from the financial mess and it had to be closed down eventually.

Butch mounted expensive promotional programs to give an illusion of success, but when the Jamaican taxpayers discovered that they had been had they turned on him.


I didn't say it was successful under AJAG ownership. The Jamaican government negotiated a worst-in-class deal that left them on the hook for millions, while Sandals hotels stayed full.

Despite that, who would want to keep JM (pre-AJAG) around? The JM we know and love, and have nostalgia for, is the one that actually resembled an world-class company.
 
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Rajahdhani
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Re: Caribbean Aviation Thread - 2021

Thu Jan 07, 2021 4:33 pm

gunnerman wrote:
caribbean484 wrote:
gunnerman wrote:
Yes, IIRC one 343 was started on the KIN-JFK route in 2002 whilst the other two were on the LHR route. I know of no other case where a 4-holer was subsequently used on scheduled flights between the Caribbean and north america.


Actually BWIA flew the A340 between YYZ-POS in the high season, but they could not fly the a/c to NYC as planned because the ICAO/FAA cat2 ratings for POS. By the time POS returned to Cat1, BWIA was in the mist of restructuring/closing down and the A340s returned to their leasors.

I liked the name JM gave to the A340 "The Atlantic Limousine"

I have a memory like a sieve as I own a video of a 343 flight from POS to LHR!

Another thing to mention was that BA used to add a flight from LHR to BGI on Saturdays during the winter seasons using the 744. (This was in addition to Concorde from LHR on the same day, so planespotters on Saturdays could see the arrivals of the Concorde in the morning followed by the 772 from LGW and the 744 in the afternoon.) Eventually BA ended the 744 in March 2004, so all additional flights were operated by 772s from LGW.


Of note - is that the BWIA routings were (and I can be incorrect, so please feel free to let me know) - not operated as directly POS to LHR. The routing, if I have it correctly was POS-BGI-LHR-BGI-POS, though all operated on the same A340.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pR2o92F1pl4

As a look back, I searched via the departedflight.com, and can note that as of a snapshot of 1996:

http://www.departedflights.com/LHR96intro.html

AIR JAMAICA LIMITED
Aircraft Operated:
Airbus A310
Destinations Served:
Kingston (Jamaica)


BWIA INTERNATIONAL
Aircraft Operated:
Lockheed L-1011 TriStar 500
Destinations Served:
Barbados (Barbados), Saint Lucia (West Indies)


The use of the A310 here is impressive!

Now UVF really comes to play in an interesting way as well because:

Per http://www.timetableimages.com/ttimages/bw/bw6210/bw6210i2.jpg

So, technically - with BWIA introducing the 707 (a 4 hole) and operating between not only POS, but other destinations on the way to MIA (and then JFK) means that it would have been the first 4 engined jet operating between the Caribbean and North America.

Backing to UVF, I know that it was used also as a stopover for the -LHR services (at least when the L1011s were in operation), with the routing looking like POS-BGI-LHR or POS-UVF-LHR. Again, please feel free to correct me if the routing was POS-LHR non-stop.
 
caribny
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Joined: Sat Mar 16, 2019 1:47 am

Re: Caribbean Aviation Thread - 2021

Thu Jan 07, 2021 5:28 pm

par13del wrote:
...or he was trying to use the airline the way EK is used in Dubai, to facilitate a tourism and business boom, except his was not focused on a single country, maybe if he had used JM only to service Jamaica and his hotels there he might have had more success. The idea of JM providing service to other countries in the Caribbean and asking them for subsidies as given to US airlines was doomed to failure, still not sure how he got subsides for his hotels, usually such is reserved for non-Caribbean foreigners.


The only Caribbean islands where JM had significant market share was SLU (where he had at least 2 hotels) and GND. His operation to ANU was a failure and his market share to BGI was small, and mainly VFR. The goal was to use Jamaican taxpayers to subsidize HIS hotels via JM. JMs cost structure was extremely high because Butch just didnt understand that running an airline isnt like running a hotel chain, plus he had carte blanche from the Jamaican gov't to do as he wished. In so doing he put Jamaica into financial stress which is why eventually the IMF insisted that the airline be shut down.

Interesting to note that Jamaican tourism arrivals soared since Butch exited JM. Also that as soon as Butch was forced to hand over JM back to the gov't he shifted his business to other airlines. JM had levels of debt in line with some of the smaller Caribbean islands! Over expansion and a plethora of low yield routes. PHX to MBJ? Why?
 
jmdc861
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Re: Caribbean Aviation Thread - 2021

Thu Jan 07, 2021 5:54 pm

Let it be said Butch was known to have many enemies!
 
caribny
Posts: 578
Joined: Sat Mar 16, 2019 1:47 am

Re: Caribbean Aviation Thread - 2021

Thu Jan 07, 2021 6:33 pm

Caymanair wrote:
caribny wrote:
Caymanair wrote:

The Butch Stewart era was the golden age of Air Jamaica. He was the man who developed the company that Jamaicans loved and mourn to this day. I only wish they had been more successful financially.





Despite that, who would want to keep JM (pre-AJAG) around? The JM we know and love, and have nostalgia for, is the one that actually resembled an world-class company.


You cannot run a champagne airline on a Coca Cola route. The market was package tour leisure (Sandals lowballing the airfare component to get a higher % of the spend into its hotels, forcing the cash strapped Jamaican gov't to subsidies the airline component) and VFR.

JM ran routes to MIA, FLL, MCO, ATL, BWI, PHL, EWR, JFK, BOS, ORD. IAH, PHX,, LAX and LHR. Only 3 of those routes were profitable, and some like ATL, ORD, BOS, PHX, and LAX were big money losers.

Jamaica now has way more airlift than it had in Butch Stewart's days and I bet at lower cost to the taxpayers. Stayover arrivals are double what they were during the "Great Air Jamaica" era.

When ordinary Jamaicans found out that they couldnt get reliable water supplies or decent education for their kids a wealthy man was being subsidized they werent happy. I do recall the angry comments when JM was heavily grounded by the FAA because Butch decided not to do th heavy maintenance in the last years. If course the Jamaican gov't had to pay for this and the leases for replacement planes when much of its fleet was not allowed access to the USA.
 
gunnerman
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Re: Caribbean Aviation Thread - 2021

Thu Jan 07, 2021 7:03 pm

Rajahdhani wrote:
gunnerman wrote:
caribbean484 wrote:

Actually BWIA flew the A340 between YYZ-POS in the high season, but they could not fly the a/c to NYC as planned because the ICAO/FAA cat2 ratings for POS. By the time POS returned to Cat1, BWIA was in the mist of restructuring/closing down and the A340s returned to their leasors.

I liked the name JM gave to the A340 "The Atlantic Limousine"

I have a memory like a sieve as I own a video of a 343 flight from POS to LHR!

Another thing to mention was that BA used to add a flight from LHR to BGI on Saturdays during the winter seasons using the 744. (This was in addition to Concorde from LHR on the same day, so planespotters on Saturdays could see the arrivals of the Concorde in the morning followed by the 772 from LGW and the 744 in the afternoon.) Eventually BA ended the 744 in March 2004, so all additional flights were operated by 772s from LGW.


Of note - is that the BWIA routings were (and I can be incorrect, so please feel free to let me know) - not operated as directly POS to LHR. The routing, if I have it correctly was POS-BGI-LHR-BGI-POS, though all operated on the same A340.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pR2o92F1pl4

As a look back, I searched via the departedflight.com, and can note that as of a snapshot of 1996:

http://www.departedflights.com/LHR96intro.html

AIR JAMAICA LIMITED
Aircraft Operated:
Airbus A310
Destinations Served:
Kingston (Jamaica)


BWIA INTERNATIONAL
Aircraft Operated:
Lockheed L-1011 TriStar 500
Destinations Served:
Barbados (Barbados), Saint Lucia (West Indies)


The use of the A310 here is impressive!

Now UVF really comes to play in an interesting way as well because:

Per http://www.timetableimages.com/ttimages/bw/bw6210/bw6210i2.jpg

So, technically - with BWIA introducing the 707 (a 4 hole) and operating between not only POS, but other destinations on the way to MIA (and then JFK) means that it would have been the first 4 engined jet operating between the Caribbean and North America.

Backing to UVF, I know that it was used also as a stopover for the -LHR services (at least when the L1011s were in operation), with the routing looking like POS-BGI-LHR or POS-UVF-LHR. Again, please feel free to correct me if the routing was POS-LHR non-stop.

For several years BW operated a daily flight using the Tristar between POS and LHR with stops (in both directions) at BGI (on Mondays, Thursdays and Saturdays), at ANU (on Wednesdays and Fridays) and at UVF (on Tuesdays and Sundays). The introduction of the A340 enabled nonstops to be operated and BW certainly did do some of them.
 
caribny
Posts: 578
Joined: Sat Mar 16, 2019 1:47 am

Re: Caribbean Aviation Thread - 2021

Thu Jan 07, 2021 7:22 pm

Rajahdhani wrote:

As a look back, I searched via the departedflight.com, and can note that as of a snapshot of 1996:

http://www.departedflights.com/LHR96intro.html

AIR JAMAICA LIMITED
Aircraft Operated:
Airbus A310
Destinations Served:
Kingston (Jamaica)


BWIA INTERNATIONAL
Aircraft Operated:
Lockheed L-1011 TriStar 500
Destinations Served:
Barbados (Barbados), Saint Lucia (West Indies)


The use of the A310 here is impressive!

Now UVF really comes to play in an interesting way as well because:

Per http://www.timetableimages.com/ttimages/bw/bw6210/bw6210i2.jpg

So, technically - with BWIA introducing the 707 (a 4 hole) and operating between not only POS, but other destinations on the way to MIA (and then JFK) means that it would have been the first 4 engined jet operating between the Caribbean and North America.

Backing to UVF, I know that it was used also as a stopover for the -LHR services (at least when the L1011s were in operation), with the routing looking like POS-BGI-LHR or POS-UVF-LHR. Again, please feel free to correct me if the routing was POS-LHR non-stop.



BWIA was the first CARIBBEAN 4 engine Pan Am, BOAC,[threeid][/threeid] and Air Canada flew these jets before.

POS LHR were nonstop in the early days when BWIA had fewer route rights and had fewer flights. They were only allowed 1x via BGI and denied rights via UVF and ANU initially. Its in the mid 80s that BWIA was able to flesh out its LHR service.
 
caribbean484
Posts: 926
Joined: Sat Jan 06, 2007 1:57 am

Re: Caribbean Aviation Thread - 2021

Fri Jan 08, 2021 5:00 pm

caribny wrote:
par13del wrote:
...or he was trying to use the airline the way EK is used in Dubai, to facilitate a tourism and business boom, except his was not focused on a single country, maybe if he had used JM only to service Jamaica and his hotels there he might have had more success. The idea of JM providing service to other countries in the Caribbean and asking them for subsidies as given to US airlines was doomed to failure, still not sure how he got subsides for his hotels, usually such is reserved for non-Caribbean foreigners.


The only Caribbean islands where JM had significant market share was SLU (where he had at least 2 hotels) and GND. His operation to ANU was a failure and his market share to BGI was small, and mainly VFR. The goal was to use Jamaican taxpayers to subsidize HIS hotels via JM. JMs cost structure was extremely high because Butch just didnt understand that running an airline isnt like running a hotel chain, plus he had carte blanche from the Jamaican gov't to do as he wished. In so doing he put Jamaica into financial stress which is why eventually the IMF insisted that the airline be shut down.

Interesting to note that Jamaican tourism arrivals soared since Butch exited JM. Also that as soon as Butch was forced to hand over JM back to the gov't he shifted his business to other airlines. JM had levels of debt in line with some of the smaller Caribbean islands! Over expansion and a plethora of low yield routes. PHX to MBJ? Why?


I think we are blaming Butch Stewart too much for the failure of JM and not remembered that the Jamaican Government also held 25% but they also collaborated with JM fly these routes, because that at the time the US airlines did not want to fly tourist routes to Jamaica.
We have to remember that before 2005, the major US airline was operating was AA from MIA or JFK, with regional governments being forced to provide a subsidies to the airline. WN was not flying internationally, B6 was still a young airline, NK was changing its business model and the big 6 were in all sorts of trouble.

JM was flying all sorts of routes to bypass the old system; for instance MBJ-ORD would need to pay AA to fly there so they encouraged Stewart and company to fly these loss making routes and provide a bailout in the end as a result.
It is interesting that after JM got back in Government hands Butch Stewart forgot about JM and aligned his hotels to the airline's competitors.

gunnerman wrote:
Rajahdhani wrote:
gunnerman wrote:
I have a memory like a sieve as I own a video of a 343 flight from POS to LHR!

Another thing to mention was that BA used to add a flight from LHR to BGI on Saturdays during the winter seasons using the 744. (This was in addition to Concorde from LHR on the same day, so planespotters on Saturdays could see the arrivals of the Concorde in the morning followed by the 772 from LGW and the 744 in the afternoon.) Eventually BA ended the 744 in March 2004, so all additional flights were operated by 772s from LGW.


Of note - is that the BWIA routings were (and I can be incorrect, so please feel free to let me know) - not operated as directly POS to LHR. The routing, if I have it correctly was POS-BGI-LHR-BGI-POS, though all operated on the same A340.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pR2o92F1pl4

As a look back, I searched via the departedflight.com, and can note that as of a snapshot of 1996:

http://www.departedflights.com/LHR96intro.html

AIR JAMAICA LIMITED
Aircraft Operated:
Airbus A310
Destinations Served:
Kingston (Jamaica)


BWIA INTERNATIONAL
Aircraft Operated:
Lockheed L-1011 TriStar 500
Destinations Served:
Barbados (Barbados), Saint Lucia (West Indies)


The use of the A310 here is impressive!

Now UVF really comes to play in an interesting way as well because:

Per http://www.timetableimages.com/ttimages/bw/bw6210/bw6210i2.jpg

So, technically - with BWIA introducing the 707 (a 4 hole) and operating between not only POS, but other destinations on the way to MIA (and then JFK) means that it would have been the first 4 engined jet operating between the Caribbean and North America.

Backing to UVF, I know that it was used also as a stopover for the -LHR services (at least when the L1011s were in operation), with the routing looking like POS-BGI-LHR or POS-UVF-LHR. Again, please feel free to correct me if the routing was POS-LHR non-stop.

For several years BW operated a daily flight using the Tristar between POS and LHR with stops (in both directions) at BGI (on Mondays, Thursdays and Saturdays), at ANU (on Wednesdays and Fridays) and at UVF (on Tuesdays and Sundays). The introduction of the A340 enabled nonstops to be operated and BW certainly did do some of them.


The L1011 did flew a couple flights nonstop from POS-LHR. The issue was BWIA had an equipment problem on the route as the A340 was too big for the airline, but was needed to avoid ETOPS. BWIA was actually looking at the B767 and A332, and I believe the A332 won but the airline simply could not get ETOPs to fly across the Atlantic.
All ah we is one family
 
caribny
Posts: 578
Joined: Sat Mar 16, 2019 1:47 am

Re: Caribbean Aviation Thread - 2021

Fri Jan 08, 2021 7:07 pm

The government of Jamaica gave Butch Stewart carte blanche to do as he wished. This because they thought that his success with his hotels would translate into a successful JM. Clearly they underestimated his attitude of entitlement when it comes to corralling taxpayer funds and other Caribbean islands have found that out as well.

Having guaranteed hundreds of millions of dollars to keep JM flying, and having to write off millions of dollars owed in landing fees JM came back with an additional request for more loan guarantees. At this point the government had enough seeing that they had even more financial exposure than when they fully owned the airline, so they snatched it back. To their horror they than discovered that Butch hadnt put several of his planes through their annual overhaul and much of the fleet had to be grounded. I believe that this also resulted in Jamaica being reduced to Cat 2 as it indicated poor oversight.

Butch had a lavish image building PR scheme that lulled people into thinking that JM was financial viable, but when the truth was out we discovered that they were in even worse shape than BWIA was.
 
caribny
Posts: 578
Joined: Sat Mar 16, 2019 1:47 am

Re: Caribbean Aviation Thread - 2021

Fri Jan 08, 2021 7:18 pm

And the mere fact that Butch realigned his hotels to the majors, abandoning JM, puts a lie to the myth that he offered services that others werent willing to provide. AA, UA and WN all provided service to MBJ from Chicago prior to Covid.
 
TriniboiUK
Posts: 6
Joined: Fri Mar 06, 2020 1:01 pm

Re: Caribbean Aviation Thread - 2021yes indeed daily Tristar to lhr i remember those good old days

Fri Jan 08, 2021 10:39 pm

gunnerman wrote:
Rajahdhani wrote:
gunnerman wrote:
I have a memory like a sieve as I own a video of a 343 flight from POS to LHR!

Another thing to mention was that BA used to add a flight from LHR to BGI on Saturdays during the winter seasons using the 744. (This was in addition to Concorde from LHR on the same day, so planespotters on Saturdays could see the arrivals of the Concorde in the morning followed by the 772 from LGW and the 744 in the afternoon.) Eventually BA ended the 744 in March 2004, so all additional flights were operated by 772s from LGW.


Of note - is that the BWIA routings were (and I can be incorrect, so please feel free to let me know) - not operated as directly POS to LHR. The routing, if I have it correctly was POS-BGI-LHR-BGI-POS, though all operated on the same A340.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pR2o92F1pl4

As a look back, I searched via the departedflight.com, and can note that as of a snapshot of 1996:

http://www.departedflights.com/LHR96intro.html

AIR JAMAICA LIMITED
Aircraft Operated:
Airbus A310
Destinations Served:
Kingston (Jamaica)


BWIA INTERNATIONAL
Aircraft Operated:
Lockheed L-1011 TriStar 500
Destinations Served:
Barbados (Barbados), Saint Lucia (West Indies)


The use of the A310 here is impressive!

Now UVF really comes to play in an interesting way as well because:

Per http://www.timetableimages.com/ttimages/bw/bw6210/bw6210i2.jpg

So, technically - with BWIA introducing the 707 (a 4 hole) and operating between not only POS, but other destinations on the way to MIA (and then JFK) means that it would have been the first 4 engined jet operating between the Caribbean and North America.

Backing to UVF, I know that it was used also as a stopover for the -LHR services (at least when the L1011s were in operation), with the routing looking like POS-BGI-LHR or POS-UVF-LHR. Again, please feel free to correct me if the routing was POS-LHR non-stop.

For several years BW operated a daily flight using the Tristar between POS and LHR with stops (in both directions) at BGI (on Mondays, Thursdays and Saturdays), at ANU (on Wednesdays and Fridays) and at UVF (on Tuesdays and Sundays). The introduction of the A340 enabled nonstops to be operated and BW certainly did do some of them.
 
TriniboiUK
Posts: 6
Joined: Fri Mar 06, 2020 1:01 pm

Re: Caribbean Aviation Thread - 2021

Fri Jan 08, 2021 10:42 pm

Yes indeed daily tristar to LHR good old days
 
maverick4002
Posts: 398
Joined: Sun Jul 12, 2015 2:14 pm

Re: Caribbean Aviation Thread - 2021

Fri Jan 08, 2021 11:04 pm

The Health Minister of TT said that the planned phased opening (they were going to open to certain countries, wondered if USA was apart of that as COVID is a disaster here) is now on pause due to this new strain of Covid and that they may keep TT closed until 2022! Ouch!
 
baje427
Posts: 880
Joined: Mon Aug 01, 2011 12:42 am

Re: Caribbean Aviation Thread - 2021

Sat Jan 09, 2021 12:10 am

caribbean484 wrote:
caribny wrote:
par13del wrote:
...or he was trying to use the airline the way EK is used in Dubai, to facilitate a tourism and business boom, except his was not focused on a single country, maybe if he had used JM only to service Jamaica and his hotels there he might have had more success. The idea of JM providing service to other countries in the Caribbean and asking them for subsidies as given to US airlines was doomed to failure, still not sure how he got subsides for his hotels, usually such is reserved for non-Caribbean foreigners.


The only Caribbean islands where JM had significant market share was SLU (where he had at least 2 hotels) and GND. His operation to ANU was a failure and his market share to BGI was small, and mainly VFR. The goal was to use Jamaican taxpayers to subsidize HIS hotels via JM. JMs cost structure was extremely high because Butch just didnt understand that running an airline isnt like running a hotel chain, plus he had carte blanche from the Jamaican gov't to do as he wished. In so doing he put Jamaica into financial stress which is why eventually the IMF insisted that the airline be shut down.

Interesting to note that Jamaican tourism arrivals soared since Butch exited JM. Also that as soon as Butch was forced to hand over JM back to the gov't he shifted his business to other airlines. JM had levels of debt in line with some of the smaller Caribbean islands! Over expansion and a plethora of low yield routes. PHX to MBJ? Why?


I think we are blaming Butch Stewart too much for the failure of JM and not remembered that the Jamaican Government also held 25% but they also collaborated with JM fly these routes, because that at the time the US airlines did not want to fly tourist routes to Jamaica.
We have to remember that before 2005, the major US airline was operating was AA from MIA or JFK, with regional governments being forced to provide a subsidies to the airline. WN was not flying internationally, B6 was still a young airline, NK was changing its business model and the big 6 were in all sorts of trouble.

JM was flying all sorts of routes to bypass the old system; for instance MBJ-ORD would need to pay AA to fly there so they encouraged Stewart and company to fly these loss making routes and provide a bailout in the end as a result.
It is interesting that after JM got back in Government hands Butch Stewart forgot about JM and aligned his hotels to the airline's competitors.

gunnerman wrote:
Rajahdhani wrote:

Of note - is that the BWIA routings were (and I can be incorrect, so please feel free to let me know) - not operated as directly POS to LHR. The routing, if I have it correctly was POS-BGI-LHR-BGI-POS, though all operated on the same A340.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pR2o92F1pl4

As a look back, I searched via the departedflight.com, and can note that as of a snapshot of 1996:



The use of the A310 here is impressive!

Now UVF really comes to play in an interesting way as well because:

Per http://www.timetableimages.com/ttimages/bw/bw6210/bw6210i2.jpg

So, technically - with BWIA introducing the 707 (a 4 hole) and operating between not only POS, but other destinations on the way to MIA (and then JFK) means that it would have been the first 4 engined jet operating between the Caribbean and North America.

Backing to UVF, I know that it was used also as a stopover for the -LHR services (at least when the L1011s were in operation), with the routing looking like POS-BGI-LHR or POS-UVF-LHR. Again, please feel free to correct me if the routing was POS-LHR non-stop.

For several years BW operated a daily flight using the Tristar between POS and LHR with stops (in both directions) at BGI (on Mondays, Thursdays and Saturdays), at ANU (on Wednesdays and Fridays) and at UVF (on Tuesdays and Sundays). The introduction of the A340 enabled nonstops to be operated and BW certainly did do some of them.


The L1011 did flew a couple flights nonstop from POS-LHR. The issue was BWIA had an equipment problem on the route as the A340 was too big for the airline, but was needed to avoid ETOPS. BWIA was actually looking at the B767 and A332, and I believe the A332 won but the airline simply could not get ETOPs to fly across the Atlantic.

Didn't they refurbish the Tristars a little before the A340 arrived? I remember flying on the Tristar to LHR a few years later I flew on one to POS and the seats atleast were different. It's so funny back then the Tristar seemed like such a large aircraft.
 
Caymanair
Posts: 525
Joined: Mon Apr 05, 2004 4:53 am

Re: Caribbean Aviation Thread - 2021

Sat Jan 09, 2021 7:05 pm

caribny wrote:
And the mere fact that Butch realigned his hotels to the majors, abandoning JM, puts a lie to the myth that he offered services that others werent willing to provide. AA, UA and WN all provided service to MBJ from Chicago prior to Covid.


But not until JM did. Even AA execs admitted that he was a fierce competitor. JM created markets that eventually US carriers filled. It cost bags of cash though...
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